Plant-Based Fall Party Platter (Vegan AND Paleo Approved)

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This is my second time taking part in the Vancity Virtual Potluck hosted by Piquant Marketing. Back in the Spring when I last took part in this event, I really enjoyed putting together a dish and connecting with so many other local bloggers. It was a lot of fun to see what people came up with for their submissions and I'd be lying if I didn't admit I was thrilled about the new followers I gained from taking part. 

One thing I noticed however, was that submissions that weren't completely plant-based tended to have lower engagement from other bloggers involved and people in general following on Instagram. 

Vegetarianism and veganism are very popular eating styles today especially in a city like Vancouver - where people tend to be very conscious of sustainability and meat consumption. I am a big fan of all plant-based diets don't get me wrong but I also recognize that for many people being one-hundred percent meat free is not an option.

For example, I was a vegetarian for nearly seven years before it just wasn't working for my body and my hormones anymore - so I decided that if I was going to re-introduce meat into my diet, that I would make a conscious effort to be as sustainable and moderate about my meat consumption as possible. I went from being a vegetarian to paleo within a few short days and have never felt regretful or ashamed for this choice that I made for my body and my health.

I really hope that during my career as a Nutritionist and Blogger I can help to eliminate the stigma around the paleo diet. There are ranges and varieties to every eating style. Just like there are vegans out there who eat mostly french fries and GMO-tofu every single day, there are also paleo people who eat conventionally-raised antibiotic-laden meat for every meal. This practice is not representative of the intentions of these diets.

For the vegans out there - I bet that if someone showed you a picture of that type of vegan diet, you would be angered by their ignorance and educate them on how nutrient-rich and colourful a vegan diet actually is. Well the same goes for me. When someone assumes that the paleo diet is based predominately on meat, I too get frustrated and feel the need to educate them on how sustainable and plant-based this eating style really is. I've said this before and I'll continue to say it again; you're primal ancestors would have never had a kill every single day. Eating meat was something done in moderation and when done it would have always been wild caught and of course pasture raised or grass-fed. There was no other way.

 
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So this time around for the Vancity Virtual Potluck, I wanted to create a spread of delicious completely plant-based dips that are of course both vegan AND paleo! When I think of a 'party platter' I think of community, family, friendship, people sharing and people coming together. That is what I want for the people out there who follow vegan/vegetarian diets and those who follow paleo diets. I want everyone to just accept that our bodies are different and not one eating style works for us all. I think that as long as you're consuming sustainably, consciously and from a place of gratitude then you shouldn't be judged or alienated for those choices.

There is no denying that a lot of the meat industry uses unethical practices and certainly are not in the least concerned about their environmental impact. Rather than completely labelling all meat consumption as bad for this reason, think about using kindness and encouragement to improve the ways in which meat eaters choose to include it in their diets. I think my platter could fill a room with both types of health and nutrition enthusiasts and maybe even be a stepping stone to find a little common ground!

Below are the 4 dip recipes I made for this spread. At the bottom of the post I included a list of what raw and roasted sides I chose to pair with this platter. Enjoy!

 
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Roasted Beet No Chickpea Hummus

Recipe -

Ingredients:

- 4 medium red beets
- 2 heaping tbsp of tahini
- Juice of 1-2 lemons
- 1 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
- 1/2 tsp Himalayan or sea salt


Method:

1. Preheat oven to 400 degree Fahrenheit.

2. Wrap washed beets in foil and set them on a baking sheet.

3. Roast the beets for 30-40 minutes until soft when poked with a fork.

4. Let the beets cool down and then cut them into smaller pieces.

5. Combine all ingredients into food processor or high-powered blender and blend until smooth and creamy.

6. Taste the hummus, if the flavour of the beets is too strong add more lemon juice.

 
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Truffled Cashew Baba Ganoush

Recipe -

Ingredients:

- 1 medium eggplant
- 1/2 cup soaked cashews
- 2 heaping tbsp of tahini
- 1 clove of garlic
- Juice of 1 lemon
- 1 tbsp truffle oil
- 1/2 tsp Himalayan or sea salt
- 1/2 tsp black pepper


Method:

1. Soak cashews in cool water for 2-3 hours or in hot (not boiling) water while the eggplant bakes.

2. Preheat oven to 400 degree Fahrenheit.

3. Cut eggplant into 1/2 inch thick rounds and set them on a baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil, salt and pepper.

4. Roast the eggplant for 10 minutes, flipping the rounds half-way. If the skin isn't coming off easily, they need a little more time in the oven.

5. Let the eggplant cool down and then peal off the skin.

6. Strain off the liquid from the cashews and give them one more rinse.

7. Combine all ingredients into food processor or high-powered blender and blend until smooth and creamy.

8. If you'd like drizzle a little more olive oil or truffle oil to the top of the dip.

 
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Smoked Paprika Curried Carrot Dip

Recipe -

Ingredients:

- 6 medium carrots
- 2 heaping tbsp of tahini
- 1 tsp smoked paprika + 1 dash for roasting
- 1 tbsp curry powder + 1 dash for roasting
- 1 clove of garlic
- Juice of 1 lemon
- 2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
- 1/2 tsp Himalayan or sea salt
- 1/2 tsp black pepper


Method:

1. Preheat oven to 400 degree Fahrenheit.

2. Wash carrots and cut into rounds. Drizzle with olive oil, salt, pepper and a dash of smoked paprika and/or curry powder.

3. Roast the carrots for 30 minutes until they begin to brown.

4. Let the carrots cool down.

5. Combine all ingredients into food processor or high-powered blender and blend until smooth and creamy.

 
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Sage Walnut Pesto

Recipe -

Ingredients:

- 1/2 cup loosely packed fresh sage
- 1.5 cups Italian parsley
- 1/2 cup walnuts
- 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 clove garlic
- 1/4 tsp Himalayan or sea salt
- 1/2 tsp black pepper
- Water to thin


Method:

1. Lightly toast walnuts for a mild roasted flavour if you wish.

2. Combine all ingredients into food processor or high powered blender beginning with 1/4 cup of water..

3. Slowly continue to add water until desired thickness is achieved.

 
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Sides

I really tried to focus the side paired with this platter to be mostly in-season and local foods. You will find a lot of root vegetables and squash on this list, in addition to some homemade loafs and my favourite - Eve's Crackers! This is a local company that makes the most delicious gluten-free crackers using the best quality ingredients. Find her crackers here!

- Endive
- Radicchio
- Watermelon radishes
- Purple radishes
- Roasted red and yellow beet chips
- Roasted rainbow carrots
- Roasted yams
- Roasted purple Japanese yams
- Roasted parsnips
- Roasted cauliflower
- Roasted sunchokes
- Roasted artichoke
- Roasted kabocha squash
- Roasted baby pattypan squash
- Eve's Black Sesame and Savoury Sunflower Crackers
- Homemade sweet potato seed loaf and buckwheat loaf - recipes coming soon!

 

Thank you again for Piquant Marketing for hosting this event yet again! Use the hashtag #VancityVirtualPotluck to check out all of the submissions.